Poetry Challenge: Artwork Conversations

In addition to being an artist, Markus Lüpertz was a poet. Throughout the exhibition, share your Lüpertz-inspired poems with us to win prizes. Every other week, we’ll issue a new poetry challenge based on images or themes in the exhibition for fresh inspiration and chances to win.

(left) Stil: Eins-Zehn VII – große Form mit Linie 2 (Style: One-Ten VII—Large Shape with Line 2), 1977. Oil and distemper on canvas, 63 3/4 x 51 1/4 in. Private collection (right) Arkadien – Der hohe Berg (Arcadia—The High Mountain), 2013. Mixed media on canvas, 51 1/4 x 63 3/4 in. Private collection

THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE:
These paintings, both by Lüpertz, were created 36 years apart (1977 and 2013, respectively). Imagine the two works are having a conversation. What might they say? Describe in a short poem.

THIS WEEK’S PRIZE: Two tickets to Phillips after 5: Punk Out on July 6, 2017.

TO ENTER: Leave your poem in the comments here, or share on social media with #LupertzPoem. We’ll select winners on Friday, June 23.

8 thoughts on “Poetry Challenge: Artwork Conversations

  1. Large shape and high mountain, in conversation

    1. From the simplest form
    The element, the essence,
    All else derives.
    Molecules coalesce into bright array; red cells
    Contained, not bleeding, tight perimeter,
    Lines like tentacles reach to water and sky.

    2. As humanity struggles in its base nature,
    Mountains, beasts and trees remain.
    Barren as an empty shell or war helmet
    Fought and defeated, left naked in the elements,
    Facing the river of death, nothing to pay the ferryman
    Lost souls wait in despair, no joy in the battle.

    Janet Smereck

  2. Lupertz goes to Washington

    —–God is dead and drink wine sayeth Nietzsche
    Guten tag, my sir. I’m pleased to meetcha
    —–Erm. Pardon my attempt at dithyramb
    I’ll grant your wish with a musical jam
    —–Sehr erfreut. Truly. Though who’s the younger?
    Time is a construct from Kant to Unger
    —–Ah, once more cast from contemporaries
    I see you take slight at my contraries
    —–With your blocks and cuts, you do gibe at me
    Natch. Be what you want and not what you be
    —–I did hone my edge, a jazz man, to wit
    It’s that Nazi stuff man, try to cool it
    —–My affect drifts upon a Yank’s swooning
    Bite the apple, like Kline and de Kooning
    —–Onto Washington, with its Xeroxed dome
    Stay for a summer’s whim and call this home
    —–So here we are, ruined Greece at the helm
    West Hollywood’s too far, would underwhelm
    —–Refugees flock from Mideast, Afrika
    Lain at the rust-foot of Amerika

  3. The Artist Talks to Himself

    It used to be so simple. Be sharp.
    Draw your lines. Wheel around
    that corner. Flatten it. What’s to hide?

    Now everything breathes, sings, bleeds
    one into another. We venture out, conceal
    and reveal, risk all on a gesture.

    The wolf lurks.

  4. Lupertz goes to Washington

    —God is dead and drink wine sayeth Nietzsche
    Guten tag, my sir. I’m pleased to meetcha
    —Erm. Pardon my attempt at dithyramb
    I’ll grant your wish with a musical jam
    —Sehr erfreut. Truly. Though who’s the younger?
    Time is a construct from Kant to Unger
    —Ah, once more cast from contemporaries
    I see you take slight by my contraries
    —With your blocks and cuts, you do gibe at me
    Natch. Be what you want and not what you be
    —I did hone my edge, a jazz man, to wit
    It’s that Nazi stuff man. Try to cool it
    —My affect drifts upon a Yank’s swooning
    Bite the apple, like Kline and de Kooning
    —Onto Washington, with its Xeroxed dome
    Stay for a summer’s whim and call this home
    —So here we are, ruined Greece at the helm
    West Hollywood’s too far, would underwhelm
    —Refugees flock from Mideast, Afrika,
    Lain at the rust-foot of Amerika

  5. Though I have reins
    They cannot restrain me
    I storm and plummet
    My sharp edges crack and crush

    No virile storm can cancel
    Our gentle play
    We caper and dance
    We twist and flow
    Into one another

  6. call it hubris
    a young man’s reductionist x-rayed vision
    the world crafted and delineated
    in neatly crated emotion — boldly
    contained and compartmentalized
    with crayola-spawned palette
    even the insouciant swirly line’s
    story has a beginning and and an end
    the conceit of outlined borders
    compact orderly
    and ordered
    angles crisp edged and sharp not
    like a stiletto but more the
    product of a starched collar’s point
    on a cotton shirt of a
    saturday night

    the middle painting that got away
    would have shown her –
    a bottecelli on the half shell
    steam-peeling the papered walls of
    naiveté with the moisture
    of her thighs and how
    his vision starts to
    scrap and burn when venus
    sails off for fairer waters followed
    by a series of sucker punches to
    the cardiac sac—walls sag-
    angles collapse -each disappointment
    a wrecking ball to the fortification-
    a cigarette lighter held
    long and steady liquefies metal linings
    the armored images no foil to
    the inhalation of turpentine tinged perfume

    now his canvas a retreat
    back to the “quelle”- the source of life..a
    steer stares across water, his pointy
    horns a last vestige of youth’s vigor
    the male flesh painted over the back of
    a grecian ideal —the helmet an illusionary
    story of protection, against the onslaught
    of the messy truth of life gifts and retrievals-
    one with stiff backed bravery and one with a
    supplicant’s desperate submission to gravity-
    armaments down, down in retreat like defeated
    prey, the search for the meaning of life is
    now reduced to the
    mystery of it’s survival

  7. I am the universe. Exploding. Big bangle.

    Creating human form.

    Not to be sacrificed to expediency, but to be appreciated for the high form of art it is.

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